A statement on the appointment of John Stevens to investigate the murder of Pat Finucane

19 March 1999

The Derry based Pat Finucane Centre has criticised in the strongest possible terms the decision announced today by RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan to refer the recent British Irish Rights Watch report into the murder of Pat Finucane to the Deputy Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, Mr John Stevens, for investigation.

Spokesperson for the centre, Martin Finucane, brother of the murdered solicitor, said, "The British Irish Rights Watch Report was presented to the two governments on the same day as the publication of a petition signed by over 1200 lawyers worldwide calling for an independent and international inquiry into the murder. The report itself contains serious allegations regarding the role of the RUC in the 1989 killing. It is clearly unacceptable that the RUC Chief Constable should have any role in referring the report to Mr John Stevens. There is an obvious conflict of interest given the nature of the allegations. Previous investigations into allegations of collusion by Mr Stevens have yet to be published and we have no confidence that Mr Stevens is the appropriate person to carry out a proper investigation. Indeed John Stevens is probably the most inappropriate person to lead any new inquiry. This has seriously undermined confidence in the Secretary of State's judgement. The final decision should never have been left with the RUC Chief Constable.

Nothing short of an international and independent inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane will be acceptable. Given the similarities in the circumstances leading up to the murders of Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson earlier this week it follows logically that the RUC should also be removed from any investigative role in the case of Rosemary Nelson.